It’s kind of ironic that the one year I didn’t blog about attempting NaNoWriMo is the year I ended up finishing it. That’s right. I hit 50,000 words on Monday night. I’m a winner!
For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. I’ve blogged about my experiences with NaNoWriMo in the past, but until this year, I’d never actually completed the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
So what made this year different than the others? I attribute my success to one thing, and one thing only: the NaNoLosAngeles community. By attending both the in-person and online NaNoWriMo write-ins, I was able to get the motivation and inspiration I needed to do this crazy thing of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month.
There’s nothing quite like sitting in a room with 20 people furiously typing on their laptops, completely absorbed in the worlds of their novels. I’d get so much more done at a write-in than I ever would in the same amount of time alone in my room. Of course, making awesome new writer friends was a big benefit of attending the write-ins as well.
I don’t think there’s nearly enough emphasis in the official NaNoWriMo pep talks on actually leaving your house and going to a local NaNoWriMo event. I would not have won this year if I hadn’t gone to write-ins. And there’s really nothing equal to the feeling of succeeding in a challenge that you’ve struggled with in the past. When I hit my 50,000 words, I was at a write-in at a wine bar in Pasadena (that’s right, a wine bar). Several of us finished our 50,000 words that night, and it was so much fun to celebrate our victories together, to celebrate the act of creation and our shared love of writing.
For those of you interested in participating in the next NaNoWriMo, check out their website. It’s a totally doable challenge, and at the end of the month, you’ll have a bunch of new writing and (if you’re lucky) a bunch of new friends too.
Congratulations to everyone who has finished or is about to finish (you still have until 11:59 on Friday night)! And even if you didn’t make it to 50,000 this time, there’s always next year.
Did you attempt NaNoWriMo this year? How’d it go?